Owning or managing a retail store is full of pressures and complex realities. If you can work out the best way to place your products within a physical store you can learn new ways to attract customers, figure out the best approach in order to retain customers and place promotional materials in the most effective areas of your store. Auditing retail stores on a regular basis promotes fresh thinking and keeps customers and employees on their toes. Much as in the way a shark must keep moving forward to stay alive, a stagnant retail outlet with products placed in the same old, stale locations in-store can kill the momentum of a company, and scare away new and old customers alike.
Bold First Impressions
Shop layouts are so important to brand integrity, recognition and can make a difference to a potential customer in a split second. First impressions are everything and it is important that you are on top of the product placement within your store. The store entrance is the biggest friend you have as a store owner. If you use it in the right way you can bring plenty of potential customers through the door. You can do this by offering a promotional product in clear view, whilst also keeping a good, clear flow through the entrance.
Watch Your Customers
A good store manager will constantly look at the actions and behaviours of the customers in store to see where they can improve their approach. Did the customers get drawn to a particular product or promotion? Which route did most customers take? What display or advertising materials drew the most glances? Being able to identify emotions and actions of customers is a great way to consistently improve.
Maximise an Easy Store Flow
The last thing you want is for your customers to become confused, lost or unable to find products that you are trying to promote. Plan and design a store layout that works in enticing your customers to areas of the store that you want them to see, without adding to any pressure or making customers feel trapped. Leave the customer with easy to navigate corridors, whilst steering them towards certain products.
Don’t Clutter the Shelves
Once your customers have found a product that they wish to investigate a little further, allow them the time and space to do so. No customer likes to feel rushed, but it is easy for this to happen should products be cluttered and packed in tightly next to each other on shelves. A customer will be happiest with a small bit of space to peruse and look at a product further without feeling rushed by a fellow customer.
There’s a reason you see additional products and promotions on certain items as you are queuing to pay at the checkout in a retail environment – it works! Most customers will have made their mind up on key products, but they’ll have their cash or cards out ready to pay and by putting additional products that might enhance or improve their other purchases you are likely to entice a few extra pounds into the till.
With a regular audit of your retail store and a strategically designed layout and product placement you can enhance your chances of increasing custom and profits.